Three killed, 14 hurt in weekend shootings

August 1, 2010 (CHICAGO) The shooting that claimed the lives of those two young men happened outside a party at approximately 2:30 a.m. Sunday in the 8400-block of South Euclid. Two other men were also wounded during that same shooting.

While one person was being questioned by police in connection with the shooting, murder charges had not been filed Sunday night.

For some, the Sunday morning attack killed the two best friends and wounded two of their other friends is proof the violence can touch anyone's life -- even those closest to the men and women sworn to serve and protect. The families of Reginald Riley and Michael Chatman were reeling from their deaths Sunday. Almost inseparable since grade-school, the 22-year-olds were gunned down while hanging out at a friend's house.

While police say statistcs show violent crime is down, it doesn't seem that way to people who live in violent neighborhoods. Filled with sorrow and grief, friends and relatives were seeking comfort and peace Sunday after learning of Riley's death.

"Chicago has been diseased with this violence. It has to stop. Too many brothers and nephews and grandsons, they're dying for no reason," said Kathy O'Neil, Reginald Riley's aunt. "We're destroying ourselves. And I think a lot of these kids don't realize the effect that their actions have on a lot of families, and they need to."

Riley, the son of a Chicago police officer, was one of four best friends tragically targeted in a drive-by shooting as the group attended a friend's house party.

"Yesterday, he got off work early, and he decided to go to a friend's party. So, he went, and this is what happened. They took his life. They took our baby from us," grandmother Bertha Slater said.

On Sunday afternoon, investigators canvassed the block where the shots rang out hours earlier. Witnesses tell police it was as Riley went outside to greet his friend, Chatman, and another man as they pulled up that two attackers in a passing red SUV opened fire.

"There is some activity regarding a possible SUV that was found nearby, and one subject was apprehended, and that investigation is ongoing," said Chicago Police Asst. Superintendent Steve Peterson.

Riley was pronounced dead at a hospital. His family members say they have no idea who would want to shoot him or his friends.

Chatman, whose sister is a Chicago police officer, died after taking a bullet to the neck. A twin and one of seven children, the 22-year-old rail yard worker had just finished trade school and was also expecting the birth of his first child in the next few days.

"We had a lot going in terms of bonding as a mother and son and as a grandmother," said the victim's mother, Peggy Chatman. "Even if I'm a mother of seven, it would have been the same if he was an only child."

"I wasn't aware of anybody that was after him or anything. It was a big shock," brother Steven Chatman said.

And while two other friends wounded in the attack were fighting to heal Sunday, those who knew the deceased victims were left to struggle with their heartbreak and anger.

"None of us are immune to this. We're all affected, like we said before, by this disease called violence, and it has to stop. It has to stop today," said friend Angela McLaurin. "You need to know who your kids are hanging with. Keep tabs on your kids."

Reginald Riley's family said he usually did not hang out late with friends. They say Saturday night was the one night where he did, and it ended tragically.

In the meantime, Michael Chatman's girfriend is due to give birth any day with a baby boy that will be named after his father.

Calumet Area detectives say they are investigating but have no motive for the crime. Police officials say although they are making some headway, they admit they are a long way from any charges.

In another part of town, four women were shot early Sunday while leaving a party on the city's West Side.

Shots rang out at Kells Park in the 3200-block of West Chicago Avenue after an apparent dispute between a group of men broke up a party.

The victims were with a group of women near Huron and St. Louis when a car pulled up and someone inside opened fire.

The most seriously injured was 20-year-old Darshell Sims. On Sunday, her mother was asking anyone with information to come forward.

"If they don't do it for me, if they don't do it for Darshell, do it for her 1-month-old baby," said mother Renee Sims.

"It could happen to anybody. You could be here today and gone tomorrow. It's that easy. People was heartless in the streets. They don't care what they do or who they do it to," the victim's sister Darsheena Sims said.

Darsheena Sims said she witnessed the shooting but was not injured.

Chicago police did not have anyone in custody Sunday evening.

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